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H P Blavatsky


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The Theosophical Society gets off the Ground


1876 – 1878

Influence Grows Despite Inactivity


After the initial enthusiasm, The Theosophical Society in New York runs out of steam with the withdrawal of the spiritualists and a general burnout amongst members. However, worldwide interest in Society grows.

This piece is an extract from Old Diary Leaves. Chapter XXI


From the Close of 1876 to that of 1878, The Theosophical Society as a body was comparatively inactive; its BY-laws became a dead letter, its meetings almost ceased. Its few public appearances have been well documented, and the signs of its growing influence are found in the Founder’s home and foreign correspondence, their controversial articles in the press, the establishment of branch societies at London and Corfu, and the open up of relations with sympathizers in India and Ceylon.


The influential Spiritualists who joined us at first had all withdrawn; our meetings in a hired room – The Mott Memorial Hall, in Madison Avenue, New York – were discontinued; he fees formerly extracted upon entrance of members were abolished, and the Society’s maintenance devolved entirely upon us two. Yet the idea was never more vigorous, nor the movement more full of vitality, than when it was divested of its external corporateness, and its spirit was compressed into our brains, hearts and souls.


Our Headquarters’ life was ideal throughout those closing years. United in devotion to a common cause, in daily intercourse with our Masters, absorbed in altruistic thoughts, dreams and deeds, , we two existed in that roaring Metropolis as untouched by its selfish rivalries and ignoble ambitions as though we occupied a cabin by the seaside, or a cave in the primeval forest. I am not exaggerating when I say that a more unworldly tone would not be found in any other home in New York.


The social distinction of our visitors were left outside our threshold ; and rich or poor, Christian, Jew or Infidel, learned or unlearned, our visitors received the same hearty welcome and patient attention  to their questions upon religious and other subjects. HPB was born so great an aristocrat as to be at ease in the highest society, and so thorough a democratic altruist as to give cordial hospitality to the humblest caller.




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The Theosophical Society gets off the Ground


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